Sunday, 18 December 2016

A little bit of Christmas 1959 ............... with a thank you to the Eagle Times

Forget the sound of Christmas cards falling on the mat, the smell of warmed mince pies and the battle with choosing the right tree; I know it has all begun when the Eagle Times arrives.

For those of a certain age the Eagle and its companion comics, Girl, Swift and Robin were an essential part of growing up in the 1950s.

And if like me you have never lost the fascination for characters from their pages and still enjoy looking at cut away pictures of aeroplanes, steam locomotive and a London Routemaster then the Eagle Times is special.

It comes out quarterly, has been going for 28 years and is a celebration of that much loved comic.

But it is more than just a nostalgic recreation of a lost childhood which would be fun but with limited appeal.

Instead Eagle tTmes wanders across the 1950s with a mix of articles exploring the artists and writers who contributed to the Eagle and the bigger cultural themes of the decade.

Nor does it stop at 1959 but slips effortlessly forward and backward picking up on the story of the film industry, popular music, and much more.

So less a fanzine and more an insight intothe culture of the time when Dan Dare space hero of the Eagle along with Luck of the Legion and Harris Tweed sorted out the bad guys with stiff upper lip and a concern for decent behaviour.

That said I remain a sucker for the seasonal articles which this edition include ‘Christmas Annuals of the 1960’s’ and the connection between Dan Dare’s rocket ship and Meccano, but all of which begins with the cover adorned with holly, and a shed load of snow.

So there you have it, more than a little bit of Christmas past.

Pictures; cover of Eagle Times, vol 28 no 4 Autumn 2015 and centre page from Christmas Annuals of the 1960’s, Jon Johnson

* Eagle Times, Annual subscription UK £27, overseas £38, and as a start you can visit the site at

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